University of California Golden Bears
6th Round – 201st Overall
How does a guy with your credentials slip so far down in the draft?
You know what, I don't know. I'm just honored and privileged to be playing for the Steelers with their great tradition. I'm super excited.
Do you know about their tradition of centers?
Yes, Dermontti Dawson. I'm familiar with a lot of the players that they have but Dermontti Dawson is one of my favorite centers.
Re: Oregon game and your match up against the nose guard Haloti Ngata.
He is actually a relative of mine. I have known him for a while. We do our best when we go out there and we try to keep him quiet and hopefully it doesn't go unnoticed.
How are you related?
He is my second cousin.
Do you agree that you played a good game against them?
Yeah, I do. I think the past couple of years I have had good games against top defensive lineman in our conference [Pacific 10].
Do you know that he is going to be in the division here?
Yes, it will be exciting.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I'm from California and I haven't been in the cold much, but other then that I'm excited. I have never been to Pennsylvania. I'm excited that the Steelers are coming off a Super Bowl win. Words can't explain how I feel right now.
You took off two years to go on a mission. What was it like to come back and play football?
It was difficult. I went on a mission and I lost about 50 pounds. So I came back in the transition of things and tried to put the weight back on. Offensive line, especially center, is a hard position to learn. You have to work on your technique and you loss that when you are gone for two years. It was a tough transition but I think that I did well coming back.
Where was your mission?
I was in the upper mid-west, South Dakota, North Dakota area.
During the winter time?
I sure was.
Did you spend both years there?
I also spent time in Nebraska and Wyoming as well.
How many times have you gone against your cousin?
It was just the last two years, it was in 2004 and this past year.
Are you Polynesian?
What was the system like that you played in with California?
I think that it is similar [to Pittsburgh's]. We run a balanced offense. We like to pound the ball a lot. Last year we had a 2,000 yard rusher in J.J. Arrington and this year we had two 1,000 yard rushers so you know that we like to run the ball. We pass the ball quite a bit too. You know we had Aaron Rogers last year that come out. So we kind of are that balanced attack. We run that two-running back offense and I think that it is similar to the way the Steelers run their offense.
Is your height the reason you went in the 6th round?
I think so. That is what I have been hearing a lot coming into the draft that there is a height issue. I guess a lot of teams were getting a misconception of that but I think that you can tell on game film that it really doesn't make a lot of difference. If anything I feel that it is an advantage.
How is being 6'1 an advantage?I think with leverage. At the combine measured out to have the longest arms as a center other then Ryan Cook. Being able to come out low and get underneath the pads of the defensive lineman [is an advantage].
6th Round – 201st Overall
Philip has been the anchor of Cal's offensive line the last two years and was largely responsible for the team producing a 2,000-yard rusher in 2004 (J.J. Arrington) and two 1,000-yard runners in 2005 (Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett)…He was a welcomed addition to the team, having played with the Bears in 2000 before leaving for a Mormon Church mission that kept him away from the game of football for two years…Philip started on both sides of the ball at Oak Ridge High School…He registered 60 tackles, including three sacks as a senior…Philip earned Super Prep All-Far West honors as the No. 78 prospect in the region and also garnered first-team All-County recognition in 1999…He was also a superb rugby player who earned team MVP accolades…Philip enrolled at California in 2000, starting several games at center before he was sidelined late in the year by a knee injury, missing the final three contests…He then left for a Mormon mission and did not return to the team until 2003 spring drills…Having reclaimed his starting job in 2004, Philip earned All-American honors from Sports Illustrated…He registered 67 key blocks for an offense that averaged 492.42 yards per game, ranking fifth nationally…He was named All-Pac 10 Conference in 2005 and was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy…Philip recorded 57 key blocks with twelve touchdown-resulting blocks as the team ranked ninth in the nation with an average of 235.25 yards per game rushing.
Led the team in key blocks/knockdowns in each of his last two years, earning All-American recognition twice…Was twice a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's premier center.
All-American first-team selection by the Associated Press, earning third-team honors from The NFL Draft Report…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice…Finalist for the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football…Named team MVP…Started every game at center, helping the offense rank ninth in the nation in rushing, averaging 235.25 yards per game…Rated the best center in college football by The Sporting News…Posted a team-high 57 key blocks/knockdowns.
Earned All-American honors from Sports Illustrated…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice…One of seven finalists for the Rimington Trophy…Recipient of the Brick Muller Award as Cal's Most Valuable Offensive Lineman...Led the team with 66 key blocks/knockdowns, paving the way for a team that ranked fifth in the nation in total offense (492.42 ypg), sixth in rushing (256.75 ypg) and seventh in scoring (36.75 ppg).
Bestowed the Bob Tessier Award as the team's most improved offensive lineman...After serving as Nolan Bluntzer's understudy at center for the first nine games, Philip reclaimed the starting job he held as a freshman before leaving on his mission, after Bluntzer suffered an ankle sprain, staring the final three contests...Led all Cal linemen in pancake blocks and knockdowns during the season (47).
Served on a Mormon church mission.
Started several games as a true freshman, gained his first starting assignment just three games into his career at
American Studies major…Son of Luseane and John Philip...Born